Bowler Featured in College of Education Alumni Publication
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Senior Kentucky defensive specialist Kathleen Bowler (Naperville, Ind.) has been featured in the Summer 2007 edition of the UK College of Education Alumni Newsletter for her dedication to hard work, academics and community service.
The article, in its entirety, is re-printed below with permission from the College of Education. It was written by Eric Pittman.
Energetic! This is the first word that comes to mind when describing Kathleen Bowler. In fact, her energy and excitement are pleasantly contagious. When she speaks, she is articulate and confident. She even laughs a little when describing herself as being “organized like any teacher should be.” More than likely, you will find yourself smiling, too, as she shares the lessons she has learned in her life.
A native of Naperville, Ill., Kathleen Bowler is a full-time student majoring in elementary education and a varsity letter winner on UK’s women’s volleyball team. She also volunteers at a host of local schools and non-profit organizations every chance she gets. Many students would argue that they don’t have time to go to class, finish all their homework and projects, and still have time for themselves. Kathleen, however, is just the opposite. When asked how she manages it all, she smiles and says, “I just love being busy.”
Kathleen grew up with a volleyball in her hands and knows that her love for the game allowed her the chance to discover the University of Kentucky. But a love of sports wasn’t all she learned prior to becoming a Wildcat.
“I went to a private school before I came to UK, and we spent a lot of time volunteering in the community,” shared Bowler.
And it is evident that this interest in community service carried over into her collegiate life, too.
Since arriving on campus, Kathleen has worked with a variety of Girl Scout functions, volunteered numerous times at the UK Children’s Hospital, and raised money for Special Olympics. She also taught at volleyball clinics, mentored children in local elementary schools, rang the bell for the Salvation Army, and gave her time in shelters doing everything from cleaning and painting warehouses to helping with food drives. But the list doesn’t stop here.
“I am not really committed to one or two organizations,” shared Kathleen. “I just like to volunteer for everything that looks interesting to me and that I have time for.”
Kathleen insists that she is just a “normal college kid,” but not many 20-year-old students can look you in the eye and say with conviction, “my core value in life is growth.” But when asked about her busy academic, athletic, and philanthropic life, that is the response Bowler shared.
“Without change and without being active, growth wouldn’t happen,” explained Bowler.
Inside the classroom, Kathleen is passionate about becoming an elementary school teacher. Her goal is to work with children who attend inner city schools.
“I feel like I need to be in the classroom because I am comfortable there. I know that working in this environment will be tougher than in some other schools, but I just want to touch as many lives as possible. I want to see my students grow and succeed,” shared Bowler.
Bowler’s hard work in the classroom, on the court, and in the community hasn’t gone unnoticed. She has been named to the Southeastern Conference Academic Honor Roll for three consecutive years. In November 2006, she was also selected to the Southeastern Conference “Good Works” team for giving back to her community in superior service efforts.
And in January 2007, the University of Kentucky Athletics Department honored Bowler by inducting her into the prestigious Frank G. Ham Society of Character. This society recognizes student-athletes who have gone above and beyond to fulfill the five commitments of the athletic department’s CHAMPS/Life Skills program. The criteria consists of academic excellence, athletic excellence, career development, personal development, and community service.
Kathleen far exceeds the definition of normal. In fact, she is extraordinary. Her desire to volunteer and make a difference in the lives of others has simply become her way of life.
Imagine the lessons she will teach her future students - not just reading or science lessons but important life lessons centered around helping others.